functional 3D modelsPatient imaging data is a powerful and robust source for developing anatomically accurate and functional 3D models. Having an accurate representation of anatomy available to engineers and designers during product brainstorming and design is an invaluable resource. This blog outlines the process of creating 3D models, and innovative methods to use them throughout medical device development.

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Switch Mode Power SupplyWhy spend time maximizing efficiency in a switch mode power supply? Higher efficiency switching regulators get you more bang out of your buck. In a world of mobile devices, minimizing power consumption is a must. Don’t waste power in the power supply. This blog looks at the sources of inefficiency one would find in a typical buck or boost style DC-DC converter.

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NTC ThermistorsWhen I say temperature sensors, you’ll likely think thermocouples. But today I’d like to discuss NTC thermistors. Medical devices regularly need to measure  temperature. Often engineers overlook or under-estimate the inherent challenges. Whether designing in thermal measurement and control capability or just temporarily instrumenting up a test rig, it’s worth thinking about how the device measurement is going to work.

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EMC Lab Visit
EMC (Electromagnetic compatibility) compliance is an essential requirement for all electronic medical devices. Usually, designers partner with EMC labs (certified testing) facilities in order to assess device compliance. In this blog members of the StarFish Electrical Engineering team share tips for a productive and successful assessment during your EMC lab visit.

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beta medical deviceAn alpha device may look like it’s finished, but it’s not a medical device.

A basic principle of medical device commercialization is that even though an alpha device looks like it’s finished – cool housing, looks like a device – it’s not a medical device until it passes regulatory standards and receives regulatory clearance, after which it’s fairly burdensome to make changes.

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Water Ingress in Medical Devices
Navigating water ingress in medical devices can be tricky, as one of the key requirements for ISO 60601-1 is the protection against ingress.  With so much development focused on the functioning of the medical device, ingress protection can be overlooked or left late in the development phase as something that is easily solvable.

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Medical Device Software Very few medical devices consist solely of electro-mechanical technologies these days. Most have firmware to drive the core therapeutic or imaging modalities. Medical device software (including an algorithm to compute results), and data transfer logic connect the devices to hospital networks and populate enterprise data warehouses.
In my experience, writing, testing and debugging medical device software code is much more prone to drive a project over time/over budget compared to more predictable building and integrating tangible components such as hardware, electronics and industrial embodiment. Here are my set of project realities of software development and some tips to manage them.

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Photomultiplier TubeSilicon photomultipliers are an exciting technology enabling applications previously only available with large, bulky PMTs to be implemented in small, low-cost, low-power form factors. If you have demanding low-light detection requirements for an upcoming project where a PMT would be too bulky, expensive, or fragile, I strongly encourage you to take a look at silicon photomultipliers.

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Optics Lab Best practices
Over many years of working in optics labs, I’ve come across a variety of lab practices ranging from admirable to appalling.  These practices can have a significant impact both on the quality of data and the efficiency with which it’s collected. Below, some optics lab best practices to help create an optics lab environment that is clean, organized, efficient, and produces great data.

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